One day Symposium on “Innovations in Eye Health: Technology to Translation”

AMRF, 28th July

A one-day symposium was conducted with support from Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The event began with a welcome address by Prof. K. Dharmalingam and inaugural address by Dr. P. Namperumalsamy, President, Aravind Medical Research Foundation (AMRF). Dr. A. Vanniarajan, Scientist, AMRF provided an overview of the symposium’s content. There were 108 participants from various research institutions and universities across the country.

The symposium featured fifteen talks by scientists in translational research, covering five key areas.

Gene Editing/Cell Therapy for Retinal Diseases:

  • Arkasubhra Ghosh – AAV vector transgene engineering for therapeutic applications
  • Sowmya Parameswaran – Unveiling hidden horizons: Addressing subtle barriers in retinal pigment epithelial cell transplantation
  • Indumathi Mariappan – Targeted genome editing: Creating disease models and developing tailored therapies for IEDs

Immunopathology of Ocular Disorders:

  • SR Rathinam – Translational research in uveitis
  • Nallathambi Jeyabalan – Role of autophagy and its modulation in the pathogenesis of pterygium: Therapeutic approach and applications
  • Swaminathan Sethu – Ocular immune cell diversity in health and disease

Novel Approaches for Treatment of Corneal Infections,

  • Thirumurthy Velpandian – Innovative concepts to widen the scope of antimicrobials for corneal infections and drug resistance
  • Sanhita Roy – Peptides as alternative therapeutics for corneal infections
  • Vivek Singh – Hydrogel and 3D printing in corneal wound healing

Exosomes in Eye Health and Disease

  • Daipayan Banerjee – Serum extracellular vesicles in retinoblastoma: What do we know so far? – Extracellular vesicles in diabetic retinopathy: A comparative proteomic analysis of plasma and vitreous humor derived Evs
  • Gowri Priya – Trabecular meshwork stem cells derived exosomes enhanced proliferation and anti-oxidant potential of trabecular meshwork cells
  • Nirmal Jayabalan – Nanomicelles: A solution-driven platform technology to treat corneal infection

Genetic Diagnosis and Therapy for Inherited Eye Diseases.

  • Inderjeet Kaur – Predictive testing for retinopathy of prematurity
  • G. Kumaramanickavel – Paradigm shift in genetic counselling in the Post-NGS era

29th Annual Meeting of Indian Eye Research Group

AMRF, 29-30 July

The 29th annual meeting of the Indian Eye Research Group – ARVO India Chapter was held at AMRF, Madurai, with the theme of “Innovations in Eye Health: Technology to Translation”.

The meeting featured seven scientific sessions covering various ocular segments, such as the retina, cornea, orbit, and diseases like diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, keratoconus, and ocular infections. Many talks focused on translational research, including gene therapy and stem cell therapy for retinal diseases and corneal dystrophies. The significance of artificial intelligence in diagnosing ocular disease was discussed in detail. There was a special discussion on Emerging Areas of Indian Eye Research – Future Perspective that helped establish goals for future research.

The event saw participation from 220 individuals, including scientists from academia and industry, young researchers, clinical fellows and optometrists from across the country. There were six invited talks, 18 free papers, 123 posters, and two industry talks. Two best presentation awards were given in both posters and free paper categories. Additionally, travel support was provided to eleven young trainees/clinical fellows. The popular quiz programme, I-Quest, was conducted, and prizes were given to the winner and runner-up.

Three oration lectures were presented by eminent scientists in frontier areas of research:

  • Colin Willoughby, Professor of Ophthalmology, Ulster University, UK, delivered the Bireswar Chakrabarti Oration titled Reverse Engineering Glaucoma: A path to improving glaucoma treatment.
  • Subhabrata Chakrabarti, Associate Director, LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad delivered the D. Balasubramanian Oration titled Molecular dissections of a blinding disease in children through evolving omics in the sands of time.
  • V. Mohan, Chairman and Chief of Diabetology, Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, Chennai gave the Dr. S.S. Badrinath Oration on Making India diabetes complications free: Hype or reality?

The meeting also included a special talk on Vaigai – The cradle of Tamil civilisation and a cultural programme enjoyed by all participants. The event was organised by AMRF under the aegis of ARVO with support from Aurolab, Spinco Biotech, Mankind Pharma, Sun Pharma, Thermo Scientific, Zivira Labs, Lific, Biokart, Theracues, Fortune Biosciences, Synergy Scientific, National Scientific, Ileco and Spinco Analytica.